Wow, has it really been two weeks since I got back from Viva Las Vegas? I'm not even sure if I've fully recovered yet...
After writing this opening line, I just checked back to my very first blog post written on April 14th 2010, and realised that my introduction to Incendiary Blonde relayed almost exactly the same sentiments after attending Viva Las Vegas 13 last year.
Little did I know, back then, that I had met the man of my dreams and that this year, not only would I be engaged to be married, but I would be attending Viva Las Vegas 14 with my fiancé and would have even more fun than last year!
I'll try not to digress too much, but I cannot resist mentioning that at last year's Viva, I randomly ended up sharing a room platonically with the man that I am now engaged to...
It tickles me to think that my free upgrade to a suite on the last night at The Orleans, (mentioned in my first ever blog post) was the very same room that my now husband-to-be slept on the sofa. The same room that boasted a jacuzzi, in which I relaxed, wearing a leopard print bikini, beckoning him to join me....and he politely declined!
Oh how things can change in the space of a year.
So, this year, I arrived in San Francisco two weeks before VLV 14, which meant I was jet-lag free in Vegas. Our shuttle to the airport ended up arriving nearly an hour early due to some sort of problem with one of their other vans, meaning that we had 5 minutes to rush out of the house (during which I smudged my manicure and my pedicure) and a whole lotta time to hang out at SFO.
We flew with Virgin America on the Wednesday afternoon, because it somehow worked out cheaper for us to fly a day early and stay an extra night at the hotel. I didn't mind this at all, as it meant we could leisurely settle in, venture out to stock our room with water and snacks and then spend Thursday by the pool.
The event itself started on Thursday evening and ended on Monday morning. There is so much to mention that I am overwhelmed just thinking about what to write, therefore I will keep it fairly brief, mention a few memorable things, and let the photos do the talking!
It was great spending time with friends over the course of the weekend. I knew a lot more people at the event this year than I did last year, and it was wonderful sharing the experience with so many people that I really care about and whose company I really enjoy.
Thursday was a haze of laying by the pool, running into people, checking out the vendors, purchasing a silly giant Vegas drink, dancing and also heading over to The Palms to see Royal Crown Revue perform. With Aaron looking dapper in a black suit, white shirt, white tie, and me in a white dress, the recurring theme of the evening was that everyone thought we had snuck off to get married! We didn't! But by the end of the night, when even strangers were congratulating us, we just went with it and thanked everyone for their well wishes!
Friday started out with a giant, bumper edition (well, it is Vegas) of Team Brunch. A big group of us sat down to eat, and in doing so, set ourselves up well for the day! There was some more poolside lounging, and as Friday was the first of three days of pool parties (Friday and Saturday pool partying was added to the main Sunday one this year) it very was crowded. Viva is always on the Easter weekend, and luckily it fell later in April this year, meaning that the weather was so much hotter than previously. This made me very, very happy.
San Francisco's The B-Stars played on Friday afternoon, and although I've seen them play numerous times now, their set was one of my highlights of the weekend! They pulled in a great crowd, I danced to nearly every song, and they looked and sounded great on stage.
Me and loverboy practically lived on Subway sandwiches for the weekend, as they are cheap, reasonably healthy and quick to order. I became quite fond of our ritual of eating sandwiches and pretzels in bed after a long day of fun, and then napping before a long night of fun...which leads me onto my next point. Brendan's. The all night juke-joint in Brendan's on Friday and Saturday nights was my favourite. Musicians jamming, blues dancing, drinking, chatting with friends....it was the best.
Saturday was mostly spent by the pool, eating Subway sandwiches, wandering around the car show (The Blasters were awesome, but we didn't quite have the energy to stay for the whole Jerry Lee Lewis set) dancing in the ballroom, and then finally spending the whole night dancing in Brendan's, where San Francisco djs, Tanoa Samoa Boy and Okie Oran Scott did a brilliant job spinning tunes between the live music.
My absolute musical highlight of the weekend was on Saturday night/Sunday morning at around 4am when Phil Alvin, the singer from The Blasters sang 'Please, Please, Please' in Brendan's, backed by various musicians including Eddie Nichols from Royal Crown Revue - what an amaaaaaaaazing performance! It totally blew me away and I am so happy I was there to witness this incredible moment of musical genius.
Sunday kicked off with an all-you-can-consume champagne and crab leg extravaganza. Yum. I am still amazed that I satisfied my buffet penchant with the crab legs and managed to resist the urge to foray into the world of buffet desserts...maybe it was because I knew that I was going to the pool party afterwards, and the lure of profiteroles and banana cream pies was less intense knowing I would be getting into my swimsuit shortly.
Aaron and I took part in the Jive Contest on Sunday evening, before indulging in more Subway sandwiches and getting ready for the night. That last evening we looked around the vendors before going to the ballroom to watch and dance to Kim Lenz, Rockabilly Stars and Deke Dickerson.
On Monday morning our 9.20am flight was delayed, so we played a few slot machines in the airport and turned $1 into $18. The excitement at winning was hard to control - as was the urge to gamble away the $18!
It was a fantastic weekend and I wish I didn't have to wait a whole year for it to happen all over again...